Structural Inspections

There are many reasons why structural inspections and reports may be necessary.

Perhaps you are worried that your property is affected by subsidence, or you want to discover how water is getting into a building. Alternatively, you may be wondering whether your extension/alterations ideas will be possible, or whether RAAC is present in your block of flats.

Whatever the reason, our engineers are on hand to investigate.

Structural Inspections – What’s the process?

This depends on exactly what the issue is that they are investigating, but typically our engineers will discuss the issues/proposals with you, and then walk around the property to get a feel for the layout, age, method of construction, any previous alterations, etc.

They will then take photographs of cracking or damp staining, measure walls and floors for plumbness, measure cracks, take damp readings, and so on.

If the investigation is to do with proposed alterations, then we may also undertake a measured survey at this stage. This involves using a laser measure device to note relevant dimensions within the property in order for us to create our drawings.

Conclusions and Recommendations?

If the cause of the structural problem is clear to us, then we’ll provide a report with conclusions and recommendations for remedial works. Perhaps the cracking is superficial and the walls just need to be redecorated, or perhaps the roof is spreading due to timbers that lack proper restraint.

On the other hand, if the cause is not as clear, or the repairs required need to be carefully considered, we may recommend further site investigations are carried out.

Site Investigations vs Structural Inspections

While our structural inspections are carried out by our team of engineers, site investigations tend to involve additional contractors/specialists.

We may recommend that builders ‘open up’ parts of buildings so that the construction and foundations can be inspected. For example, we might recommend ceiling finishes are removed to expose the floor joists above, or suggest that lintels are exposed to check their condition.

Philip Goacher Associates can organise these site investigations on your behalf; we will instruct contractors to open up the building, organise and attend trial pits (to check the foundations), auger boreholes (to analyse the ground conditions) and more. We might take soil samples to send off for testing to determine the shrinkability of soils, or suggest concrete is tested to see whether it contains High Alumina Cement.

Following the site investigation we then provide you with a full, detailed report which will explain the cause of any defects, possible remedies, and also highlight what might be achievable on site in terms of extensions and conversions, the kind of foundation design required, whether underpinning is needed, whether retaining walls are adequate, and so on.

Get in touch today to arrange a structural inspection: call 01903 217723 or email

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